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What is this?

Hanging lamp composed of shards of broken white porcelain dishes, cups, saucers, serving pieces, and stainless steel cutlery, mounted on a metal frame work radiating from a central light source; the overall effect evoking an explosion of tableware.

Why is this in our collection?

The Porca Miseria! lamp is among the most recognizable and expressive of Ingo Maurer’s lighting designs. Maurer is one of the most creative and respected lighting designers working today. Trained as a typographer and graphic artist in his native Germany, Maurer worked as a graphic designer in the United States for Kaiser Aluminum and IBM in 1960. He returned to Europe in 1963, where he refocused his attention to lighting design. Since then, he has created more than 150 different lights and lighting systems for diverse international venues, including fashion runways, public buildings, monuments, and private commissions. Combining unexpected materials and found objects with a variety of light sources,... more

This is a hanging lamp from Germany. It is dated 2000 and we acquired it in 2010. Gift of Peter Norton.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ This object is currently resting in our storage facility.

Its medium is

glazed molded porcelain adhered to metal, stainless steel; halogen light source

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 114.3 x 101 x 82.6 cm (45 x 39 3/4 x 32 1/2 in.)

We have 1 video that features Porca Miseria! Hanging Lamp, 2000.

Behind the Scenes: Porca Miseria Chandelier

Conservator Annie Hall and Curator Cindy Trope talk about the origin story of the Porca Miseria Chandelier, as well as the conservation and storage challenges associated with it.

This object was manufactured by Ingo Maurer GmbH and designed by Ingo Maurer

This object was donated by Peter Norton

A timeline of event horizons

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

See more stuff from the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18756025 and we will connect ours to yours!

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Porca Miseria! Hanging Lamp, 2000 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 July 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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